Rishabh Pant was ruled out of the second ODI against Australia taking place in Rajkot on January 17 . He will undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He was hit by a bouncer after a top-edged delivery from Pat Cummins hit his helmet, which resulted in him getting concussed. As a result, he could not keep the wickets and KL Rahul had to fill in for him.
This injury comes at a time when fans have been clamouring for Rishabh Pant’s removal from the playing XI. It may very well be a blessing in disguise for Team India. In last 10 matches, Pant’s figures have not been impressive except for a splendid knock in the 1st ODI against West Indies in Chennai on December 15.
IN ODI’s, Pant’s batting average has been very poor (26.71). He was originally considered to be the solution to India’s No. 4 problem, but, the emergence of Shreyas Iyer and indifference in Pant’s form resulted in him being dropped to a lower position.
With Rishabh Pant out of the picture, KL Rahul emerges as his replacement behind the stumps for the ‘Men in Blue’. On Tuesday, Rahul donned the gloves in place of Pant and did a fairly good job. When India face Australia in Rajkot on Friday, it will be worth seeing if KL Rahul can fit in the wicketkeeper’s position with ease.
Rahul has been a regular behind the stumps for his IPL team, Kings XI Punjab, but, on Tuesday it was the first time he kept wicket for India. He will be expected to do the job on Friday as well.
This injury to Pant does put India in more pressure after they got steamrolled by Australia in Mumbai. But, now that Rahul has a fixed spot in the team, Virat Kohli could very well start at his original position at number 3 and KL could be dropped down the order.